Tuesday, December 15, 2009

All I want for Christmas...

A lot gets made every year about the secularization of Christmas and how children these days are getting too many presents to realize the real meaning of the holiday. Members of religious orders are helping bring back "the reason for the season" in many ways. One of the cutest I've been party to is singing "Happy Birthday" during Christmas Eve Mass. It felt a little silly at first, but looking around and seeing lit-up children's faces, delighted to wish baby Jesus happy birthday, I couldn't help but smile.

I'm sure the Santa Claus/Jesus debate will rage on for years to come, but one thing people all over (mostly) agree on is it is nice to come downstairs on Christmas morning and find you were still on Santa's Nice list. WAFF 48 News reported Operation Grateful Heart and the Hoover Fire Department teamed up once again to collect toys for the children of deployed military personnel who will be gone for Christmas this year. That's 5,000 little boys and girls in the state of Alabama alone. Since the start of the drive in 2004, 19,000 toys have been donated.

A little bit further down the Grinch scale from missing a parent (or two) over the holidays is having your Christmas stolen from you. WESH Channel 2 out of Orlando, Fla., told the story of Anne Bright, who lost the presents she'd bought for her daughter when her brother's girlfriend's car (which she'd borrowed to go shopping) was repossessed. The repo company is not allowed to keep personal property found in the vehicle at time of repossession, but the Jack Frost-ian organization claimed there weren't any presents in the car when they towed it. Bright worked two jobs to be able to give her daughter a good Christmas, so she was delighted when Good Samaritan and local business owner Jeff Emery heard about Bright's situation and offered to purchase new presents for her daughter.

Perhaps the best present an adult can get is a visit from the stork. And when said stork works in conjunction with Santa, it's even better. A story in the Boston Globe today centers on the birth of a rare tapir born in captivity at the Franklin Park Zoo recently. Named Tupelo, after the delicious honey made from tupelo tree flowers, the sweet-hearted female Baird's tapir is one of the few captive females of her species. Tapirs are related to horse and rhinos, but this little girl is actually pretty darn cute.

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